Skip to Content


Keynote Address delivered by Sir Keir Starmer at Queen's

The Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer MP,

Sir Keir Starmer with the VC and senior Queen's colleagues in front of the Lanyon Building.
(L-R) Professor Nola Hewitt-Dundas; Sir Keir Starmer MP; President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Greer; Ryan Feeney, Vice-President Strategic Engagement and External Affairs (Interim).

Sir Keir used his speech to acknowledge the suffering of the past, and the progress made in the 25 years since the signing of the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement.

Sir Keir said: "History was made here, hard-won. But to respect that history, people also deserve action on the issues which currently hold Northern Ireland back. For politics to do its job and give people the chance to look forward with hope".

Referring to the need for a breakthrough in relations between the UK and EU, not least over the Protocol on Northern Ireland, Sir Keir added: "I say to the Prime Minister, if there is a deal to do in coming weeks – do it. Whatever political cover you need, whatever mechanisms in Westminster you require, if it delivers for our national interest and the people of Northern Ireland – we will support you".

Following his speech, the Labour Leader took questions from the press and from members of the audience.

A transcript of the speech can be found here; a video recording of the speech can be found here; and for details of a downloadable podcast version, subscribe to our Shaping a Better World Podcast.